A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times

TRENDS





When I was in my local branch of Selfridges the other week (And yes, Selfridges do indeed sell fridges among their vast portfolio), I was amazed to find that they now had a tattoo parlour in the store.

Now when I was growing up, nobody 'respectable' ever had tattoos. You either had them as a result of teenage rebellion, through being a Hells Angel, or because you'd got very drunk one night and woken up the next morning with some girls name you'd never heard emblazoned on your buttocks.

But these days, times have totally changed. In 2010, people of all ages and backgrounds (and of both sexes) have tattoos galore. It's become highly fashionable, and the styles and positions of tattoos are seemingly subject to fashion too. Where you might once have had an anchor on your forearm, now you're more likely to have some obscure oriental symbol across your lower back, or a Maori design across your shoulder.

And I personally think this trend is stark staring crazy for one simple reason.

Why?

Well let me put it to you this way...

Would you go into a hairdressing salon and choose a hairstyle (Bieber for example) that you were going to keep for the rest of your life? Imagine if Kevin Keegan had done that with his permed mullet in 1978! It simply doesn't bear thinking about.

And would you go into a clothes shop and pick a pair of trousers you were going to be sewn into and never be able to change? Of course you wouldn't, (I might, but you wouldn't) because you know fashions change, and you might want to be able to keep up with more modern trends.

So here’s the thing, in 20 or 30 years time, young kids will be laughing at all us coloured-in older generations, and will be able to age us... not by our wrinkles, but by the design of our tattoos. What seems cool, hip and trendy now will invariably seem tired, dated and old hat by the newer generations. And the tattooed masses will be somewhat stuck with it... locked in an epidermal time warp so to say. Just like their anchor-wearing predecessors were.

The truth of the matter is that fashion is really only for the frivolous, disposable and temporary things in life. And tattoos are simply none of these things...

And neither is property.

Near to where I live, there's a fantastic looking ultra modern house up for sale. It's all vast open spaces, flat roofs, white walls and sharp edges. It's priced at £1.5 Million, and it looks absolutely great. But would I buy it? Sorry but, not a chance in Hell, because today's cutting edge and fashionable, is always going to be tomorrow's yesterday's news. And when you're making a significant life investment of this stature, you don't really want to toy with the vagaries of fashion.

And it's the same story with more
down to earth property investments too...

You don't have to go too far back in time... perhaps 15 years... to find yourself in a period where nobody wanted to buy a flat in any provincial city in the UK for any amount of money. But that's before fashions changed, and city living became quite trendy. Our cities became awash with modern high rise developments to cater for this new trend. Well guess what... that's what it is – just a trend. And that trend will in time, change again, leaving all but the very best of those inner city developments to fall into decline as they revert to what similar properties were before the trend shift - squalid little ghettos for the underclasses.

Meanwhile, true bread and butter family housing... traditional three bed semi's, small detached houses and the like in the suburbs, will continue to rise steadily in their value.

They can't and won't fall out of fashion because they were never in fashion to begin with. They just provide simple, functional and attractive housing solutions for ordinary families. They may not set the pulse racing, but they do keep the family comfortable, dry, safe and warm.

And that's what everyone needed in the past, what they need now, and what they will continue to need well into the future.

You see, there's an underlying long-term basic need which transcends all fashion or trends. And when you're looking at where to invest your money this is precisely what you should be looking for. Something with longevity and intrinsic underlying value, not something, which has had its value temporarily, boosted by riding a trend.

In the current so called 'credit crunch', people are investing more in property than at any other time over the past 5 years. But they probably don't have any tattoos, and they probably don't have any trendy inner city apartments either. Just like me, they’ve never been convinced that either are a good long-term proposition.

It may already be too late on both the tattoos and the property fronts for you. But if not, now could be a good time to give some thought as to whether you agree with me or not.

And in the meantime, here’s a free tip for a big business opportunity of the future... tattoo removal. It's going to grow and grow.




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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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